College of Public Health students graduating

GRN 250

Course Information

Credit Hours: 3
Department: Gerontology

Aging in Today’s World

This class explores the processes and meanings of “growing old,” focusing on influences from childhood through adolescence and adulthood, with constant attention to how these processes and meanings are situated in time and space and eventually inform individual and societal conceptions of and actions concerning old age. The many faces of aging are examined from an array of disciplinary perspectives using selected readings, film documentaries, consideration of personal/family histories, and a series of exercises that allow students to place one’s own life experience and thoughts of growing old in broader societal context. 

Fulfills UK Core Requirement: Community, Culture and Citizenship in the USA

John F. Watkins

Department: Gerontology

Title: Director of Graduate Students, Professor

Email Address:

Phone: 859-218-0240

Location: 1080 Export Street, Suite 280

CV: VITA 10-14-JFW.pdf

John F. Watkins is a Professor and Director, Graduate Studies Graduate Center for Gerontology. The embryonic John Watkins began in the “Great Snow” of 1956. Nine months later he was born and began his journey toward being on the faculty of the Graduate Center for Gerontology and the Department of Health Behavior. Along the way he completed the requisite degrees (BS, MA, and Ph.D. the latter two from University of Colorado-Boulder) and joined the University of Kentucky when in his upper-twenties. Trained as a mathematical demographer, but armed with ethnographic skills associated with life history narratives, he applies his craft in studies of the demographic processes of population aging and the aged, population growth and redistributional impacts, and life course influences on later life health behaviors and notions of home. John is past president of the Population Specialty Group and Aging Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers, serves on the senior advisory panel of the National Science Foundation, is a Fellow of the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education, and has received numerous departmental, college, university, and national awards for his attempts at teaching and advising.

Graham D. Rowles

Department: Gerontology

Title: Director and Chair, Professor

Email Address:

Phone: 859-218-0145

Location: 1080 Export St, Suite 280

CV: CVFULL 1-13-15.pdf

Graham D. Rowles is a Professor in the Graduate Center for Gerontology with joint appointments in Nursing, Behavioral Science, Geography and Health Behavior. His research, in the field of environmental gerontology, focuses on the lived experience of aging in different contexts. A central theme of this work is exploration, employing qualitative methodologies, of the changing relationship between elders and their environments with advancing age and the implications of these relationships for health and wellbeing. He has conducted in-depth ethnographic research with elderly populations in urban (inner city), rural (Appalachian), and nursing facility environments. Current research includes leadership of the Kentucky Elder Readiness Initiative (KERI), a statewide project to explore the implications for communities of the aging of the Baby Boom cohort. His publications include Prisoners of Space? and five co-edited volumes, Aging and Milieu, Qualitative Gerontology, Long-Term Care for the Rural Elderly, Qualitative Gerontology: A Contemporary Perspective, and Home and Identity in Late Life in addition to more than 60 book chapters and articles. He is a Fellow of the Gerontological Society of America and the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education and serves on the editorial boards of The Journal of Applied Gerontology and the Journal of Housing for the Elderly.